Embryo transfer refers to a step in the process of assisted reproduction IVF and ICSI. In this process, the embryos are placed into women’s uterus for them to implant in the uterus. Embryo transfer can be done at day two, day three, or day five. Embryos are all delicate cells and they need to be in precise environment to survive. The most important environment is the uterus of course. The uterine lining (endometrium) needs to be perfect to accommodating the embryos. To assist embryo implantation, acupuncture was used around the time of embryo transfer. The most common protocol used is from a research in Germany known as German protocol. In this study, acupuncture was performed before and after embryo transfer. The acupuncture points are:
Before embryo transfer, the following Acupoints were used:
PC6 (Neiguan), SP8 (Diji), LR3 (Taichong), GV20 (Baihui), and ST29 (Guilai).
After embryo transfer, the following Acupoints were used:
ST36 (Zusanli), SP6 (Sanyinjiao), SP10 (Xuehai), and LI4 (Hegu).
Also some ear points are used including ear point 55 (Shenmen), ear point 58 (Zhigong), ear point 22(Neifenmi), and ear point 34 (Naodian).
Clinical pregnancies were documented in 34 of 80 patients (42.5%) in the acupuncture group, whereas pregnancy rate was only 26.3% (21 out of 80 patients) in the control group.
They concluded acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after ART.
The mechanism of acupuncture used around embryo transfer is to reduce stress, relax uterus and increase uterine blood flow to provide best environment for embryos.
Paulus WE et al Fertil Steril. 2002 Apr;77(4):721-4.
Welcome to my blog, discover acupuncture with Dr Maggie Ju
Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Many year research and clinical experiences. This blog is for information only.
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